If you want to write for a living you need to learn how to market your work.
These days writing is more than just writing up your manuscript and getting it ready for publishing. You have the option of doing it all yourself if you self-publish.
Definition of Self-Publishing:
Self-publishing is the process of publishing a book by the author without the involvement of a traditional publishing house or company. In self-publishing, the author retains complete control over the creative process, including the work's writing, editing, formatting, design, and marketing.
Marketing plays a crucial role in the self-publishing process, and without it, would leave authors penniless. That's how crucial marketing is to the self-publishing process.
Book Marketing in the 21st Century
In the 21st century new avenues started to open for authors, and new ways of marketing books started to emerge, thanks to the internet. Which meant many authors who would have been left at the bottom of the pile in the publisher's office, could start their own business. With a plan and a little know-how.
My writing journey started in 2010, writing on various platforms such as Hubpages, Ezine and Squidoo. I started experimenting with different blogs. But none of them really worked.
It wasn't until 2014 that I started my blog 1976write, that things really started to take off.
I realised that if I really wanted to create an income for myself I needed to choose a subject I was passionate about and start my own blog.
I discovered that writing was the best fit, because that was the skill I really wanted to build on and create from.
By 2015 I published my first book Amazing and Interesting Facts, which I ended up turning into two separate books; Strange Stories, True Stories and Tales from Hollywood, and Tips N Tricks for a Stress Free Life.
It turns out that Strange Stories is one of my most popular books to date.
The Traditional Publishing Model
If you're fortunate enough to get picked up by a publishing house, you'll have a team of professional editors, designers and marketers behind you to sell your book.
Which means your book will go through a process of refinement before it hits the shop shelf.
Your royalties after your initial advance will be between 5-20%. Another part of being taken on by a publishing house is that the right's to your book belong to the publishing company and not you.
These are things to consider if you do decide to go down the traditional route of publishing.
Self-published authors, on the other hand, will make 70% royalty on ebooks priced between $2.99-$9.99, or 35% on ebooks outside that range.
Print book royalties come out at 40-60%.
This gives the self-publisher more or less full control over the publishing process.
The Importance of Marketing
What I learned very early on was that my books needed to be found, and that's where I started learning the basics of marketing on social media.
When I started out I had no experience and only my writing skills. Over the years I learned through mistakes and hard-work that I could build a library of my own books to sell.
Amongst the skills I learned were the importance of book cover and blog post design. Being able to stand-out in a market place that is literally bursting at the seams with new and upcoming writer's.
Connecting With Your Readers
In today's market people look for author's they can naturally connect with. People just like them, that they feel are on the same page.
Why Self-Promotion is a Vital Skill for Writers
As local high streets are closing down all over the world, the more people turn to digital books online. Paperback books and hardbacks are still a favourite of most bibliophiles, but it looks like digital copies are here to stay.
The Rise of Social Media Marketing for Self-Publishers
Social media marketing is a vital skill that all writers should use if they want people to read their books. With a regular posting plan you can start seeing the foundation for an audience of readers.
Finding which platforms work for you is half the battle, and once things start clicking into place, social media is a tool you can use alongside your other marketing.
When I started writing I had nothing, today I have a growing business and that's down to time spent improving my writing, book cover design and marketing.
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